8.2 The Dream of a Picture Book and the Babelclair’s Dining Table
“…So we can no longer venture out of Fashitar just because the Great Magician tried to marry a Fairy Princess?”
“That’s a way to see it. In fact, that’s how everyone see it. Because they’re entirely different entities form us, their way of thinking also differs greatly. Be careful, they absolutely won’t forgive you if you go against any of their rules.”
“…Because the Prince told me to ‘come again’, therefore, I absolutely must go see him again—!”
“Haha, what a greedy girl, you are! But, if he said so, let’s keep your promise. Alright, Dia. The promises made in the Land of the Night must be kept. Because even small things can cause demise.”
Wandering inside the dream, surrounded by pale dim light, Dia stood before a fine series of paintings in a church.
The stunning picture behind the main altar depicted the figure of a believer passing through the gate of faith. However, various creatures—such as fairies and demons—appeared to block his way using terrifying curses and other ill intentions.
Fairies, who were depicted doing funny dances, were the symbol of ‘merrymaking’. Demons were ‘wisdom and wealth’. Dragons were ‘authority’. While spirits were beings who tried to fool humans using wonderful treats…
That said—Dia pondered inside her heart.
Didn’t Noin tell me about the genealogy of the Night Kingdom? The Midnight Thrones are supposed to govern different phases of nights… and that he, himself, was the Holy King of Spirits instead of ‘King of the Night’…
…as she blinked, Dia stood before the paintings of spirits in the church and stared at one of them.
Since this was a dream, her Father stood beside her—her Father, whom in the real world, she could no longer find anywhere anymore.
As he smiled in concern, he pointed to the picture of a spirit who smiled brightly and beautifully behind a golden table of treats.
“My precious Dia, don’t be fooled by this feast. We are sinners. Never say you desire something on their table so you don’t incite their wrath. For the spirits, food has a very heavy implication.”
However, none of the treats on the table looked gorgeous or tasty. Dia shook her head—the potato pie made by Noin was so much better.
Noin’s dishes are more delicious than any meal served at the Royal Palace.
Not all of the dishes served at the Royal Palace were poisoned. Dia had seen both the King and Richardo stuffing their mouths, praising the dishes as scrumptious—despite so, Dia didn’t think they were.
If dishes were arranged elegantly, of course anyone could trick themselves into believing they were as delicious as they seemed.
The first time she had ever eaten so deliciously was when Noin cooked for her during the day of the anniversary.
Maybe that was part of his plan to entrap her.
…then, he’s basically the same being as those in the painting who tried to block the believer’s path? The same being that would destroy a man?
Or, is this my punishment for breaking the promise of that night?
She was at the edge of her dream, where the cold night descended. Dia reflected a lot.
But, no matter how hard she tried to think of something, in the end, since it was but a dream, the thought soon washed away—
—it was sad, frustrating, and enough to make her groan—
—suddenly, someone’s gentle hand caressed her head.
…it feels comfortable…
Indulging herself in the comfortable feeling, while exhaling in joy, she rubbed her head against said palm.
Then, she somehow felt that someone was currently smiling in satisfaction towards her.
At this rate, she would fall into a deeper slumber.
“Dia wants to marry the Prince—…isn’t that how it should be…?”
The small Dia murmured in a corner of a mansion, one full with metallic stench of blood. The storm shook the night.
In front of the little girl who was choking on her tears with snot running down her nose—who appeared that night? Who was it that sneered at her?
“If that’s what you want, prove to me that you can achieve it. That Prince would be more than happy to kill you, you know?”—
—the man who said that, didn’t he possess purple eyes?
At that time, Dia could only cry and couldn’t make a clear decision. The beautiful but terrifying creature then decided for her—“If that’s indeed your wish, then so be it. Go and get killed.” Before taking her to the Royal Palace and leaving Dia to one of the knights.
It was only a few days after deep and endless despair of being bereaved of her family that she finally came to term and realized who that man might be—ah, I’m abandoned by him, too…
“…Good grief, even though she made a pact with a spirit, she is as easygoing as always—such are human beings. This stupid human seems to have given everything up.”
Looking up at the voice from the abyss of slumber, Dia snored as a responce to those words. Her vision was still dark.
…They keep saying that those creatures and humans are different—but is it really so?
Are these delicious foods—along with his warm and gentle hands as poisonous as that water in the jug the Palace served me?
“At this rate, this child will be killed on the night of the next ball… the fact that she belongs to the race that betrayed you aside …are you okay with this?”
“Matters’ not to me. In fact, it’s precisely the moment before and leading up to this person being killed that matters the most. …ah, right, one more thing. One more wrongdoing and this is it for the human’s kingdom. After all, there’s no greater sin than trying to put one’s hand on my realm. If they continue to attempt towards this land, that will be the same as breaching the first promise.”
In response, Dia, inside her dream, pressed her chest with both hands.
She was biting her lips, holding down the tears that were about to trickle down. It was unbearable—hearing the cruel words of those who wanted to kill her.
I see… I should’ve known…
Despite the circumstances, it was Noin who delivered Dia to the Royal Castle. Then, he left her alone. It was only three years ago that they met again. From that day on, again, Dia had fallen in love with him.
However, that man wouldn’t stop the next ball—also her last night, from happening.
His interest was always directed at how the curtain would finally fall, spelling the end of Dia’s life. As such, there was no way he would reach out to her. Not now, of all times.
…I wondered if it’s because I wished for him to save my family that night…
Dia understood the danger of making such a wish of someone who possessed a heart different from humans—yet still, she made such a wish.
By that, did she perhaps disappoint him? Was a child bereaved of her family undeserving of his attention?
For whatever reason, the truth was apparent—
—he would no longer extend his hand towards Dia, the same way he did on that night during the ball when they first met.
The tears inside her heart felt as if they filled her chest to the brim.
All Dia could do now was to carefully and cunningly pull the thin strings so her beloved King of the Night wouldn’t go anywhere.
If they hadn’t met during that day where the night was the longest, she wouldn’t had fallen for him all over again like that.
She would have stayed as a vengeful ‘ghost’ that wanted revenge on those who killed her loved ones, without being stirred by wishes and hopes like that…
“…In that forest, a fairy’s crossbow is prepared. Stupid humans. The surrounding vicinity is also laced with the nectar of the snow daffodils. They thought we wouldn’t notice.”
“If anyone were to see that crossbow, they would probably think it’s merely an enchanted bow bought from foreign merchant. With that bow, did they intend to inflict injury on that person?”
“I think so. It’s placed in a strategic place where no one would suspect a thing. Of course, with the purpose of making that child think it was an accident during the hunt. But, the poison would reduce physical strength, siphon blood, and pierce the heart. How extremely unpleasant, killing the child of the same family using this method…”
Who is this person talking to Noin…?
***T/N: OHHH MY GODDDD BISHHH, DIA KNEW WHO HER TRUE PRINCE IS ALL ALONG!!!!! UNLIKE OTHER STEREOTYPICAL FEMALE HEROINE WHO WOULD USUALLY STAY BLIND TO THIS FACT UNTIL THE VERY LAST MILISECOND!!!!!!!!! INSTEAD ITS NOIN WHO SEND HER TO THE WRONG CASTLE AND TO THE WRONG PRINCE PEACH UNDER MISUNDERSTANDING, DIA DO YOU NOT SPECIFY TO HIM DURING CHILDHOOD THAT YOU MEANT HIM BY “PRINCE”????
So he is merely granting her wish–he thought she wanna die by the hand of Retardo, while in despair she thought she was doing him a favor by dying.
THIS MISUNDERSTANDING I DEEM PLAUSIBLE.
And quack you, Retardo.